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CNYScouter

Husband/wife as COR and Unit Leader

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In our District there are 6 or 7 units where one spouse is the unit leader and the other is the COR.

 

Within the last year either the DE/DD/SE or myself has gotten an email or phone call about every single one of these units over some issue with the unit leader.

 

In almost all of these units the CO is 100% hand-off and leaves selecting the COR up to the unit.

 

At least 2 of these units will not be rechartering due to lack of youth and it looks like a couple more are headed in that direction.

 

Our DE was just dismissed and as District Commissioner I am now working with an experienced DD (who is now handling 2 Disticts).

 

It seems that the last 2 or 3 DEs never visited the COs and had left it entirely up to the units to get the charter agreement signed as part of the yearly recharter.

 

One item high on the DD list is having him and I visiting COs and discussing the charter agreement.

 

When this seen on the charter who should be saying to these units bad idea?

 

What about these units that are currently set up this way? How should these be handled if at all?

 

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Not much of a check and Balance when the COR and the unit leader are a married couple. One can see where the COR could interpret his or her role as the final arbitrator for all things program and Committee. Better to have an absentee COR who only gets called upon during dire circumstances than an over empowered married couple running everything.

 

If these are churches suggest a COR the pastor can trust. Someone without a son in the unit to occasionally guide and steer the unit at various times. Explain the role of the COR.

 

 

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In my limited experience, the units led like that or similar to that with husband/wife (CM/CC/COR/TREASURER, SM/CC/COR/TREASURER) that I know, have problems keeping both Adults and youth involved most times because they have too much control and it throttles any changes (or perceived threats) to the regime.

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Our Pack has a married COR and CC, and it works great.

 

Signatures are easy to get.

Decisions are made quickly.

The COR is is almost always present at pack events.

They have multiple sons and a resulting very defininitive interest in the long term health of our pack.

 

Perhaps some of the packs you're concerned about should not have been started in the first place?

Was someone under presure to increase their numbers, no matter how?

 

Nah... That would never happen. Sorry.

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A COR whose kid is in a unit will probably operate differently than one who never had kids in scouting, and both will operate differently than one whose kids have graduated scouting. We've experienced all three.

 

More importantly, take a long hard look at the COR's training record when you visit a unit.

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Can it be recommended to brand new charters that the practice of spouse COR with the other spouse as unit leader not be implemented? And give them the reasons for the recommendations? I've not heard of this being common around my area.

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I had to laugh when I read this thread because I have heard it before. I have actually sat in a meeting where a person was upset due to the lack of checks and balances when the COR is married to the CC and all I can say is the BOD of the CO is the checks and balances, not any unit members. Now, if your CO is too hands off you will have issues but remember, a COR can also be the CC so where are the checks and balances there? How different is it that a married couple share the work than one person do all of it?

 

I do think that many people think of the BSA as a democratic organization where each participant has a say but that really is not true. Each unit is basically a franchise owned run by a local organization with the goals of benefiting youth by following the requirements of the BSA AND furthering the organizations local youth programs. You only have as much say in the operation and program as the CO grants.

 

This situation is a bit odd in my experience as the local units COR's are not normally selected from the membership BY the membership but I am sure it happens. I was selected to be COR as a board member of the CO but my wife was CC already at that time (that was part of why I got dumped on, um, er choosen!). As the COR it is my responsibility to make sure our program is successful and meets the CO's expectations.

 

We have several youth programs in our CO and I have fought the battle of why the units have to participate too many times. The CO did not ask if you want to do it, the CO is telling you that you will do it. If you are joining a unit, you need to make sure that the program in that unit meets your needs because you will be expected to meet their standards.

 

It does not happen all too often but I am always amazed when somebody joins one of our units and gets upset because what makes us successful is not how they would do it! I was following the other thread where the general consensus is that adults are the problem and I assure you it is for us as well. The drama and problems always comes from the adults who think it should be done some other way.

 

As long as your COR and CC are not violating any BSA policy then you have no option unless the CO will allow you to select another COR but you will have to go to them as they are the only people who can allow you to do that. You will be staging a coup and unless you are right, it will not go well. If you have a successful program and go to the CO because you don't like it, you will get you nowhere.(This message has been edited by Hawkrod)

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Hawk, the reasoning behind my previous comments is that it sounded to me like CNY was having rechartering issues due to lack of youth secondary to COR/Unit Leader issues.

 

If that set up works well for a particular CO/IH AND the troop, then more power to them. If it doesn't work well, with the end result being a troop collapsing due to lack of youth, then maybe it's time to take a closer look at what the real issue might be.

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My take was a little different than yours. What I read is an District level person having problems with units that are setup with CC and COR's that are related and how or should they do away with it. The reality is it does not matter and that is not the issue. The issue is CO's who do not understand their responsibilities and obligations to making sure that the unit is operating properly. Too many times a unit is slapped together and then to wither. I have met DE's who will do anything to get a unit chartered but they rarely do a very good job of explaining to the CO what really happens. They sell a package and basically make it sound as though it will run itself and that is what happens. Many CO's are hands off because they think it should be that way. If I left tomorrow, we have a Scouting committee in our CO that will select another COR. We currently have two members on our BOD who have been COR's (one for over 20 years!). No, we are not a church sponsored unit (a lot of people assume that) but our organization understands and takes an active part in our youth programs. I do believe (maybe I am being naive) that almost all CO's will take an active role in a unit if they are properly educated about the program and how it is supposed to work.

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Yah, this is entirely the COs call, eh? I wouldn't condescend to them by suggesting that some arrangement or another wasn't a good idea unless they asked.

 

Two options for yeh, CNY. The first is to meet with the CO and briefly explain the COR role. Then state who da current COR is and ask if they're comfortable with that person in the position. If they say "who?" then yeh mit suggest they find someone new or at least chat with the current person.

 

I've also found it helpful to bring someone who is familiar with scouting who is also a congregant or member of the CO or at least that type of CO. COs have all different sorts of governance structures. Sometimes the listed IH isn't really da IH. Or the IH is the pastor but the ministry committee handles this stuff, or... It really helps if yeh have someone who understands their structure and speaks their lingo / values. In some cases, COs with a regional or national presence actually have printed job descriptions for COR or suggestions about who in a local chapter/church should serve in that role.

 

I find that bringing along such a person is really vital in other ways, eh? Lots of times an IH doesn't have a clue, and once he gets that there's more responsibility to this than he thought, he can freak out ;). That's one of da reasons DEs don't like to do annual visits, eh? Having somebody there that knows the organization and speaks the lingo can be really valuable in helpin' with that sort of conversation.

 

Beavah

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Maybe it was a total misunderstanding on my part. I agree with you 100%. In a perfect world, all COs should have an active part in the unit. But that's just not the case.

 

Condescending suggestions were not meant.

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Oh, 007, I wasn't talkin' to you or anybody. I don't think anybody means to be condescending at all. I just think yeh want to avoid that accidental appearance. Yeh don't want to suggest in the least that yeh disapprove of their choices or that you think they haven't made a good choice. Churches in particular have a lot of husband-wife pairs in ministry, eh? The family that prays together stays together and all that.

 

So yeh just go out of your way to avoid that appearance by being respectful and deferential. Yeh just give 'em the information and treat them like the competent adults they are. Even if they ask "what would you recommend" yeh want to be circumspect, eh? Yeh say "this is really your call, because you know how you prefer to organize your ministries and volunteers. What some other organizations like yours do is... " and give 'em a few examples.

 

B

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I gotcha, Beavah. It's kind of like a respectful "to each his own" and hope that each CO makes the best choices in all matters. The end result may be the same but the roads that takes them there may be different.

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If BSA is a franchise then the franchiser will have a lot of say on how his product is to be handled.

 

If it just a license agreement like a song or software than their will be a lot more freedom by license holder to do as he wishes.

 

Which is it?

 

The point overlooked is that the District has done nothing to guide or support these charters. Evidence suggest that the partnership of married COR and Unit leaders has created a bubble of bad units. Change is required at these units if the CO intends to keep the program. Maybe the CO's does not want a BSA program anymore or having a 5 scout unit is just fine with them. That is the CO's decision.

 

If we were to look at this as a franchise system, and CO has been operating a troublesome and failing program, maybe its time to suggest that the remaining youths seek a stronger program with a more structured oversight arrangement between the CO and the unit.

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by Thomas54)

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By your definitions, a Charter seems to me to be much more like a franchise as the basic program is outlined and the BSA put requirements on the participents beyond limiting use such as adult training requirements as well as having a support system. It really isn't either of the two but it basically works the same way as a franchise which is why I choose to describe it that way.

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